Due to Covid-19 we have had to cancel courses from March to 1st August, we hope you will find an event later in the year that you can attend.

The aim of this course is to identify many of the more common breeding birds of North Wales by sight and sound. This will be a relaxing course, suitable for beginners. We will walk in some of the lovely places in the beautiful Conwy Valley. The course will involve walking 3-4 miles each day including footpaths and some uneven terrain. We are likely to take in one or two local tea rooms for refreshments, depending on the weather. There will be a short introduction to the course in the classroom on the first evening and an opportunity to get out early in the morning to sample the dawn chorus in nearby woodland habitat.

There will be a short introduction to the course in the classroom on the first evening and this will give the participants and the tutor the chance to get to know one another. Whilst the course will be fairly relaxed, we hope to get out early one morning (before breakfast) to sample the dawn chorus in the Centre grounds and the nearby woodland habitat.

We will spend most of the day, between 9am and late afternoon out in the field visiting the typical woodland, farmland, riverine and upland habitats in the Conwy Valley from source to sea. In mid-April not all the migrants will have arrived or started breeding and some trees will not be in full leaf so this should help us find and identify a wide range of species.

During the weekend we will visit a number of diverse habitats with possible venues including RSPB Conwy, Pensychnant Conservation Centre and surrounds, Llyn Crafnant, the Great Orme, Bodnant Gardens (National Trust), a woodland walk to Cadair Ifan Goch at Maenan, the Gwydir Forest and Llyn Sarnau.

Tutor: Anne Brenchley

Born and brought up in Kent and a keen birdwatcher from a very early age. Gained a Zoology degree and a PhD from Aberdeen University (studying Rooks) and went on to spend most of my working career until 2011 with Natural England and its predecessors. I have been a Regional Rep for the British Trust for Ornithology since 2000 in Flintshire and Wrexham, organising and taking part in surveys and also helping other volunteers. I am a fully qualified bird ringer. Main author of the Breeding Birds of North Wales published in 2013. I am now an independent ecological/horticultural consultant and lead birdwatching/wildlife walks on a weekly basis.

Example Timetable

Course participants are requested to arrive on the first day at our reception for registration from 4.00 - 5.15pm. An introductory talk to the Centre is at 5.45pm. Dinner is at 6pm, followed by an introduction to your course. Departure is at about 1.00 pm on the final day (a packed lunch is provided).

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Personal and Travel Insurance

Before You Attend

  • Please bring clothing, weatherproofs and footwear appropriate for days out in the field. Warm clothing is essential. No bright colours please!
  • Sun cream and sun hat (check the forecast!)
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers (can be borrowed from the Centre)
  • Outdoor footwear (walking boots and wellies can be borrowed from the Centre, but you’ll probably be more comfortable with your own)
  • Day rucksack, warm hat and gloves (can be borrowed from the Centre)
  • A torch, water bottle and/or thermos flask and lunchbox
  • Binoculars if you have them and any ID guides that you might use.